Pirelli’s thoughts are with Jules Bianchi and Marussia
Lewis Hamilton won a prematurely-ended Japanese Grand Prix to extend his championship lead, using the Cinturato Blue wet tires and Cinturato Green intermediate.
The rainy conditions, as a result of the Phanfone typhoon, meant that the hard and medium slick tires nominated for the weekend were not used at all. The race was stopped, following an accident involving the Marussia of Jules Bianchi, at the end of lap 46.
The race got underway behind the safety car for the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011: Pirelli’s first year of Formula One. It was stopped again, still under the safety car, on lap three and there was a second start 20 minutes later under the safety car once more – meaning that the drivers were obliged to use the full wet tire (as is the case with any safety car start).
The track remained damp after the safety car came in on lap 10, requiring the use of intermediates for the majority of the race. When the rain fell harder, at the end of the race, some drivers made use of the final safety car period to change back to the Cinturato Blue full wet tire.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The Japanese Grand Prix was held under extremely tricky conditions, but obviously our main concern, along with that of the entire paddock, is the accident that halted the race involving Jules Bianchi and Marussia.”